Day 5: Normandy, Pt. 2

We are now on Day 5, and we will almost be back on schedule once we post the second day.

This morning we woke up, and had a very nice breakfast. I had half of a baguette with apricot jam, I also had cereal, with apple juice. After breakfast we got in the car and experienced a flat tire. The tire blew out on the highway, and dad and Aidan and mom had to take all the luggage out of the trunk to get to the spare tire. They got out there in their yellow vest, and they were out there for a while, so that took off an hour of trip. But we finally got back on the road, and w went to Utah Beach. That is the beach where the American forces landed. The Germans wanted to take over Europe, and America, and other allies fought Germany. Thousands of young soldiers died here, and to this day, June 6, is known as D Day. Next beach, was Omaha Beach. It was another beach, where the Americans landed. At Omaha beach, there is a cemetery, where all the young soldiers of America lay. My mom gave us all a few American flags to stick in the ground near graves. I put my flag on two Tennessee graves, and one Colorado, which is where I was born.  Then we got ready to leave for London. Before I move on I am going to tell a story about the train station. So my dad dropped us off at the train station and he had to go return the rental car. And that’s when things got interesting. While we waited in the train station, playing foosball, dad drove into Calais to return the car at 8pm. On the way there, Siri got him lost. He ended up in a very scary part of town. Meanwhile, mom was trying to convince the border guards that dad was on his way and to please allow him to check in. Dad finally found the rental car return at around 8:15. Our train was scheduled to leave at 9:01, and we were required to clear customs by 8:40 at the latest. Apparently, dad got a taxi and told him to hurry. As we were waiting and watching out the windows at 8:45, a taxi came squealing up to the curb, and dad sprinted inside to find us already checking in for our train to London. The border guards were nice enough to let us clear customs at around 8:55. But we made it on the train. It’s a good thing because I did not want to stay in Calais, it was very dodgy, and there were lots of armed guards with machine guns at the station.

Day 4: Normandy

Day four, we are now in Normandy. The first thing we did was get on a subway in paris to get to the train station. We had all of our heavy bags so we didn’t like the fact that we had to keep carrying everything around. We got to the train station and had coffee and croissants. The train from Paris to Rennes was 2 and half hours. The train had a cafe bar area and the seats were way better than an airplane. We got off the train and we had to walk to the rental car area. The car we got was pretty small but we figured it out. We got in the car and drove about 30 minutes to a cute little part of a city that i don’t know the name of. This part of the city is an ancient area by the Atlantic ocean and it is surrounded by a wall. back when it was built, it would’ve been called a city-state. We had lunch at an okay crêperie. I had a Comte (cheese) galette. It was okay. We had a few bites of our brothers chocolate crepe, but we didn’t get one for ourselves because we wanted sorbet. Abby and I found a small little ice-cream cart. We both got mango sorbet. The ice-cream was really good. After we got our ice-cream and food, we headed back to the car. After that, we drove to an area with the population of only 44 people. It is a village with this huge castle thing in the middle. It’s called Le Mont Saint Michel. Apparently, it is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s very important! We couldn’t walk on the sand to get there because it was like quick sand, so we took a shuttle across the bridge. The little village was so cute. It had tons of stores and restaurants. We went to see the inside of the abbey at the top and everywhere we went was either a chapel or a dungeon thing. When we checked the number of stairs climbed that day, it said 38 flights on mom’s iPhone! That was pretty cool. After a long walk around the building, we went to grab food but the kitchen was closed where we went so we just got drinks.

After our drinks we had to head to our car to get to the place we were staying. When we got a few miles in, we had just found out our car had a flat tire. It was so low that we could stick our fingers in it. It took us a while, and we had to get out of our way to find the gas station. Luckily at the gas station there was an air pump. Once the tire was filled we drove to our Chateaux. A Chateaux is not a hotel but looks more like a castle on the outside. On the inside was old looking but pretty. We took our stuff up to our room. We got dressed and refreshed and went to have dinner downstairs next to the lobby. The appetizer was like a sushi shaped like a slice of cake. We didn’t get to choose our dishes, they gave us whatever they cooked. I didn’t like the appetizer, but my sister and brother did. It was a layered seafood salad. The entree was chicken, mashed carrots and a vegetable crumble. I loved the entree. The dessert was this raspberry sauce over cake that felt like ricotta on top of a sponge cake. It was filled with raspberry jam. I didn’t like it that much but I still ate half of it. After we ate, Abby and I went out to the hammocks and played outside. After that we went up to our room and got ready for bed and that was all the fun we had today.

Day 3: Paris

Sorry I haven’t been on the blog, but we haven’t had time to. Anyway day 3 was all about monuments. First monument we went to was Notre Dame (No-tra-dom) . Notre Dame is a beautiful cathedral in Paris. It has beautiful rose shaped stained glass window. You can actually go to church there. Next we went to Montmartre. There is a basilica on top, which is the cathedral part of Montmartre. It is gorgeous, and we will have a picture. There is a little town around it, it was a very cute town. People do live there. After Montmartre, we went to an incredible brunch place called Ellsworth. It has amazing and pretty foods. I will have a picture of it. They give you the menu and you tell them all the stuff you want, and they bring it to the table on one plate and share, course by course. I definitely recommend this place. Then we went back to the apartment and just chilled for a few hours, because we were tired. Then we got up from our naps and got dressed to go have a little snack, which was dinner, and then went to the Eiffel tower. It was huge. We got with our tour guide and got the tickets. We went up the elevator to the second platform of the Eiffel tower and look around and got a few pictures and listened to the tour guide talk about the buildings and structures you can see around the Eiffel tower. Then when we were done with that we went to the top, but before we went outside, we got some macaroons that were delicious. Then we walked outside and saw the beautiful views from the top all though it was pretty nerve wracking. Once we got back down to the second floor we took the stairs all the way down and almost made me sick. We stopped at the first floor and stood on the glass floor and looked down, I did not want to do it. Then we got back on the stairs and went down to the bottom. When we tried to get home, it took us a while to get out of the metro station, and we got back to the apartment at almost one in the morning. That is all the fun we had today.

 

Notre Dame                                       Inside of Notre dame

Day 1: Paris

 

Today was day one of our trip. We are currently in Paris, France.  First thing we did was get on a plane in Chicago and flew to Paris. It was a seven hour flight. Abby and I watched a movie on the screens on the seats in front of us. We got tired so we went to sleep. When we woke up we had dinner. They gave us chicken covered in BBQ, collard greens, vegetables, and grits. they gave us a side of 1 roll, and some salted caramel ice cream. Ella and I always drink sprite on a plane. We took melatonin in the beginning so we keep getting tired so we went back to sleep. the next time we woke it up it was time for breakfast. We had a croissant and some raspberry yogurt. Obviously it is weird to have soda in the morning, so I had Lipton English Tea. After breakfast, we finished our movies and than went back to sleep.The next time we woke we almost landed. The reason we slept so much is because the time difference here is 7 hours ahead of the USA and we didn’t want to get jet lagged. When we landed we had to go inside and find baggage claim. It took a while to find our bags but once we did we had to wait about 30 minutes for our shuttle. The shuttles here are different from the ones back in Chicago. The ones in Chicago look like subways in the inside and a bus on the outside. in France, they look like a van. The shuttle took us to our apartment. Our apartment is above a restaurant thing. The apartment is adorable! Ella and I are sleeping on a pull-out couch, my brother Aidan is sleeping on a couch bed thing and my parents are sleeping on a queen sized bed. There are two bathrooms. once we got to the apartment, we got freshened up and ready to walk the Paris streets. We walked from our apartment to get some lunch. To get to the place we ate, we walked along Notre Dame and went across a bridge that is above the Seine, a river running through Paris. The lunch place we went to was called, Le Lutetia Île Saint-Louis. Abby and I had steak frites (steak and fries.) The food was just okay, but it was fine. We could’ve found a better place. After lunch, we walked pretty long way to The Louvre. I thought their would be much more learning but it was more of a museum of art. After we saw Wings of Victory, The Mona Lisa, and Venus de Milo, we went to the gardens behind The Louvre. I had the most beautiful ice-cream cone. They gave us a choice of a flavor, I chose Raspberry, and they shaped it like a rose. they put a raspberry macaroon on the top. It was very good. After we walked a long and painful walk home. When we got back we refreshed again. We walked an even longer walk than before to our boat cruise. our boat was a Pontoon boat and it was just our family on the boat. We cruised down the Seine. We had dinner on the boat. We had Camembert cheese, Comte cheese, grapes, and meat sandwiches. For dessert we had a apricot creme anglaise. The ride was about an hour and a half. We got to see the Eiffel Tower while in the boat. The boat ride was beautiful. The boat took us to our street so we didn’t have to walk all the way from the pick up area. Once we got home, we got ready for bed and went to bed. that was all the fun we had today.

Duct Tape and No Sleep

You are probably wondering why we named it ” Duct Tape and No Sleep! ” We literally mean  “Duct Tape and No Sleep!” This is all about the struggles of packing for a family of  five. Our bags are covered in green duct tape. I will explain why, and also get out your paper and pen and take notes. We covered them in duct tape because when we need to get our bags off the baggage claim, we need to know which one is ours, so we covered the bags in bright green duct tape. To pack for a family of five, who are also moving around a continent on trains and airplanes and cars and boats, we practiced packing lightly, so it wouldn’t be a struggle to walk on and off of vehicles.

 

Aside from the duct tape, some other things we thought were very important are:

-Packing Early

-Trying on all your outfits and taking pictures of you in them to plan how to use your clothes efficiently.

-Making sure your clothes are comfortable and light.

Things we think will be important are:

-External batteries for phones

-Plastic bags for dirty/wet clothes because they don’t have them in a lot of European countries

-Benadryl in case of a sudden allergy

-Melatonin in case of jet lag

 

An Introduction to our blog

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Hi, I’m Ella. That’s me on the left. Abby, my twin sister, is on the right. We love to cook and bake. We also love to travel and try new foods. In two days, we are off for our first big overseas adventure. Follow us as we learn about French, British, Scottish, and Irish food, art, music, and culture. We will try to post every day starting on June 23rd.

Abby will be taking the pictures and I will be writing. Also, we hope to bring you at least one exciting and special food from each city we visit. I better get going. We have lots of planning and packing to complete. Thanks for following us.